7.5 out of 10

Penn Quarter

Ranked 23rd best neighborhood in Washington
38.8963459123946 -77.0126026906963
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Safe & Sound
  • Pest Free
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Schools
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"You can see Tourist Heaven from here"

Nothing about this area might jump out at you if you're driving through, and it's not known for being a residential one. Mainly people only pass through here to get somewhere else, and the commerce that has sprung up around here seems to be an attempt to snag some spare tourist dollars before they spend them at the National Gallery gift shop.

That said, there are some great spots to eat or shop around here, as a result. The area is also relatively close to a number of metro stops, so if you happen to find yourself here on foot (as I have, once or twice.... I'm a bit of a walker), there is hope for you to get somewhere else quickly. Compared to the neighborhood over, with the Warner Theater, scores of museums, and the National Archives and Gallery, this one is a sparse one.
Pros
  • close to Archives, Gallery and museums
  • central location
  • Close to the Capitol
  • Close to Union Station
Cons
  • sparse
  • not residential
  • noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Is this really Penn Quarter?"

There is some confusion as to the Penn Quarter neighborhood and where it is. Most consider it to the south and west of Chinatown, but StreetAdvisor shows it as generally east of 395 and bordered by Columbus Circle N.W., North Capitol Street N.E. and Louisiana Avenue N.W.. My review will be on the area shown on StreetAdvisors map.

This is strictly a commercial area in the northwest section of the city near the Capitol Building and Union Station. In addition to numerous federal buildings including the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you will find Georgetown University Law School located here as well. There are numerous hotels here including the Hyatt Regency. Several trade, labor and other special interest associations have facilities here as well, undoubtedly drawn to the neighborhood's proximity to the Capitol for their lobbying efforts. Visitors will find numerous restaurants in the neighborhood, but little shopping. There are numerous Metro Bus stops in the neighborhood and nearby Union Station provides access to the Metro train system as well as MARC trains and Amtrak trains. The Japanese American Memorial is within the neighborhood and is a memorial not visited often. There are no schools or places of worship here.

Crime statistics indicate that the neighborhood s relatively safe with crimes against property more common. As always check recent crime statistics to make an informed decision as to the risk before venturing into any neighborhood.
Pros
  • Close to Union Station
  • Close to the Capitol
Recommended for
  • Professionals
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Heartbeat of Washington"

Penn Quarter is one of those neighborhoods that really defines Washington in the mind of most tourists. Several very posh hotels are there, including the Willard Intercontinental and the JW Marriott. Several museums line its streets, drawing scores of tourists during the summer months. While the tourists are there, you can pick up a quick lunch at one of the famous food carts. Just don’t trip on the tourists in the process. Because it is a tourist area, many of the restaurants are over priced for what you get. Then again, they do tend to be very good as well. Heavy foot traffic means that there are few crimes, mainly pickpocketing and other property crimes of opportunity.
If you like living near the heartbeat of DC, you can live in one of the high quality apartment and condo communities. Do be aware that there is a lot of traffic and plenty of noise, however. If this isn’t something that bothers you, and you like being in the middle of everything, then you may well enjoy Penn Quarter. Also, public transportation in this area is excellent, with a couple Metro stations and several busses running through. You can get anywhere in the city pretty fast from here.
Pros
  • central location
  • always something to do
Cons
  • noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Its All Happening Here"

If you want to visit the real heartbeat of the District, this is the place! What was a sleepy part of downtown 30 years ago is now a hot, 24 hour residential and commercial area with dozens of restaurants, bars, theaters, and other attractions. The anchor of this vibrant area is the Verizon Center, the home to the Washington Wizard's NBA basketball team, the Washington Capitals National Hockey League team, and the Washington Mystics WNBA basketball team. In addition to sporting events, the Verizon Center is a major concert venue; over the years groups and artists such as U-2, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus have played to packed houses (sometimes including the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). But if sports or concerts are not your thing, there is plenty of other things to do. You can catch a play at the Harman Center for the Arts. You can stroll through three Smithsonian art galleries, including the National Portrait Gallery. Kids especially will love the gadgets and intrigue on display at the International Spy Museum and the Museum of Crime and Punishment. If you'd prefer a quiet meal for two, try Wolfgang Puck's The Source, in the Newseum. For all these reasons and more Penn Quarter shows the District at it's best.
Pros
  • always something to do
Cons
  • noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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